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Most people won’t find themselves in a situation that requires a helicopter to fly them to a hospital for emergency treatment. As such, it may never happen to you, but what if it did? Well, you would likely be shocked by the bill that followed.

A medical helicopter crash on January 2 highlighted questions about the safety and necessity of air ambulance travel.

Medical helicopters are reserved for the most critically injured or ill patients. “So, if you are flown, you likely needed to be.” But, warns, Attorney Noble McIntyre, brace yourself for the bill as the average ranges between $12,000 and $25,000.

OK Air Ambulance

Recent industry shifts have led to air travel getting even more expensive as area hospitals no longer cover any portion of the to fly, as they did before. Air ambulance companies defend their excessively expensive bills by saying the patient is paying for “readiness.”

Three air ambulance services currently operate in Oklahoma: Air Methods, which operates as Mediflight in the Oklahoma City area and Life Flight in the Tulsa area, Eagle Med and Air Evac LifeTeam.

All three operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a pilot and medical staff at the ready at all times.

There are 19 helicopter bases spread out across Oklahoma, mostly in rural locations.

The NTSB estimates 400,000 patients and transplant organs are moved each year via helicopters.

Watch an interview with WFOR-TV as Nobel McIntyre discusses the high costs as well as concerns of air ambulance travel in further detail.

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